Wal­mart scrubs de­pic­tions of vi­o­lence from stores na­tion­wide

The Saline Courier - - NEWS -

Wal­mart is removing from its stores na­tion­wide signs, dis­plays or videos that de­pict vi­o­lence fol­low­ing a mass shoot­ing at an El Paso, Texas, store that killed 22 peo­ple.

The re­tailer in­structed em­ploy­ees in an in­ter­nal memo to re­move any mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial, turn off or un­plug video game con­soles that show vi­o­lent games — specif­i­cally Xbox and Playsta­tion units, and to make sure that no vi­o­lence is de­picted on screens in its elec­tron­ics de­part­ments.

Em­ploy­ees were also or­dered to turn off hunt­ing sea­son videos in the sport­ing goods depart­ment.

Un­der the head­ing: “Im­me­di­ate Ac­tion,” em­ploy­ees were in­structed to “Re­view your store for any sign­ing or dis­plays that con­tain vi­o­lent im­ages or ag­gres­sive be­hav­ior. Re­move from the sales­floor or turn off th­ese items im­me­di­ately.”

“We’ve taken this ac­tion out of re­spect for the in­ci­dents of the past week,” said spokes­woman Tara House in an email to The As­so­ci­ated Press on Fri­day.

The com­pany’s pol­icy on video games that de­pict vi­o­lence has not changed, nor has its pol­icy on gun sales.

There is no known link be­tween vi­o­lent video games and vi­o­lent acts.

Pa­trick Markey, a psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor at Vil­lanova Univer­sity who fo­cuses on video games, found in his re­search that men who commit se­vere acts of vi­o­lence ac­tu­ally play vi­o­lent video games less than the av­er­age male. About 20% were in­ter­ested in vi­o­lent video games, com­pared with 70% of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, he explained in his 2017 book “Moral Com­bat: Why the War on Vi­o­lent Video Games Is Wrong.”

Au­thor­i­ties be­lieve Pa­trick Cru­sius, 21, wrote a racist, ram­bling screed that railed against mass im­mi­gra­tion be­fore open­ing fire last week­end at the El Paso Wal­mart. Cru­sius lived near Dal­las, and El Paso po­lice say he drove more than 10 hours to the largely Latino bor­der city in Texas to carry out the shoot­ing that killed 22 peo­ple and wounded about two dozen oth­ers. He’s been charged with cap­i­tal mur­der.

Chris Ayres, a Dal­las-based at­tor­ney for Cru­sius’ fam­ily, told The As­so­ci­ated Press in an email they never heard Cru­sius ex­press the kind of racist and anti-im­mi­grant views that he al­legedly posted on­line.

The killings in Texas, fol­lowed by an­other in Day­ton, Ohio, just hours later that left nine dead, have put the coun­try on edge.

On Thurs­day, five days af­ter the El Paso shoot­ing, pan­icked shop­pers fled a Wal­mart in Spring­field, Mis­souri, af­ter a man carrying a ri­fle and wear­ing body ar­mor walked around the store be­fore be­ing stopped by an off-duty fire­fighter.

No shots were fired and the man was ar­rested af­ter sur­ren­der­ing.

A back­fir­ing mo­tor­cy­cle in New York’s Times Square set off a stam­pede Tues­day. Video footage showed the throngs rush­ing out of the busy tourism and en­ter­tain­ment area, some tak­ing cover be­hind ve­hi­cles and in door­ways.

The New York Po­lice Depart­ment took to so­cial me­dia say­ing, “There is no #Ac­tiveshoote­r in #Timessquar­e. Mo­tor­cy­cles back­fir­ing while pass­ing through sounded like gun shots.”

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